Education

Meet the Manatee County students who won the national Formula 1 competition

P1NNACLE, a group of Manatee County students, at the national F1 in Schools competition last weekend. Pictured are Sammy Slovak, Hayden Simon, Elizabeth Casadonte, Hunter Raley, Jaye Kendzior, Eleanor Hopkins, Jaxson Bunes, Arianna Longo and Abbygale Owen.
P1NNACLE, a group of Manatee County students, at the national F1 in Schools competition last weekend. Pictured are Sammy Slovak, Hayden Simon, Elizabeth Casadonte, Hunter Raley, Jaye Kendzior, Eleanor Hopkins, Jaxson Bunes, Arianna Longo and Abbygale Owen. Provided photo

Propelled by a shared passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a group of Manatee County students won the national F1 in Schools competition over the weekend.

Students from Palmetto High School, Southeast High School and the University of South Florida competed for three days at Circuit of the Americas, a race track in Austin, Texas.

But instead of racing a 900-horsepower car down the 3.4-mile track, they competed with CO2-powered models on a 66-foot track. They came out victorious, securing an invitation to this year’s world finals, according to a news release from the school district.

“The team also won a host of contingency awards including Best Engineered Car, Best Verbal Presentation, Best Enterprise Award, Most Innovative Thinking and the Scrutineering Award,” the release states.

Known as P1NNACLE, the team is comprised of Manatee students and educators:

  • Jaxson Bunes, design engineer.
  • Arianna Longo, resource manager.
  • Hunter Raley, manufacturing engineer.
  • Jaye Kendzior, team manager.
  • Abbygale Owen, social media manager.
  • Eleanor Hopkins, graphic designer.
  • Elizabeth Casadonte, support team.
  • Hayden Simon, support team.
  • Sammy Slovak, support ream.
  • Brian Kendzior, team adviser and a teacher at Palmetto High School.
  • Margi Nanney, team adviser and an employee of Florine J. Abel Elementary School.

Last year’s team, known as Perspective Racing, won third place at the global championship in Singapore. The current design engineer was also a member of the previous team.

F1 in Schools requires students to develop, test, manufacture and race a miniature Formula 1 car, according to the news release. Students are also judged on their pit display, verbal presentation and engineering portfolios.

The team is supported by AT&T, Manatee Memorial Foundation, Manatee Education Foundation, PCI Communications, Abec357, Dillon Machining, R3 Engineering, OnTrac Publishing and Allison Engineering.

“The team did a great job representing our sponsors and Manatee County in front of a large national audience,” Jaye Kendzior said in a prepared statement.

Giuseppe Sabella, education reporter for the Bradenton Herald, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He spent time at the Independent Florida Alligator, the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Times-Union. Giuseppe also spent one year in Charleston, West Virginia, earning a first-place award for investigative reporting.


  Comments